Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

Browse Items (21 total)

  • Temporal Coverage is exactly "19th century - late"
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Round Dance

Round dancing, or couple dancing, is an established part of many communities where square dance flourishes. It's worth remembering that this sort of dancing was not always viewed favorably. In this… View item
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"The Texas Cattle Country and Cowboy Square Dance" – Olcutt Sanders

This article, scholarly yet accessible, provides an excellent look at square dancing in west Texas in the late 1800s. He starts with a look at the conditions that set this region apart from… View item
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Cowboys' Christmas Ball - Anson, Texas

Poem written in 1890 describing the Cowboys' Christmas Ball in Anson, Texas. For more information about the author, see this website on cowboy poetry. The Ball continues, following the original rules… View item
Still Image

Description of a Quadrille, 1870, West Virginia

Satirical description of a quadrille, from a West Virginia newspaper; no mention is made of a caller View item
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Farmhouse Fiddlers: Music & Dance Traditional in the Rural Midwest

This is an excerpt from a detailed and loving look at what the author terms "house-party music." His focus is Wisconsin, and he based the book on interviews with nearly 100 musicians and dancers.… View item
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Square Dance in Haywood County, NC

Detailed look at western North Carolina, a region rich in square dance traditions including that of Sam Queen and the Soco Gap Square Dancers. Jamison starts his article with a look at the turn of the… View item
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American Country Dancing on Colorado's West Slope

The article is based on oral history collected in 1979, though no footnotes or direct quotations are included. Instead, it is a generalized summary of the author's findings. "Depending on… View item
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Western Square Dances at Fox Creek, Colorado (ca. 1880-1930)

Article based on conversations with Bessie Stafford from the San Luis Valley, western Colorado. "In these early days, the dances were held outside on the hard dirt, the music being supplied by… View item
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Origin of Appalachian Square Dance

By ":Appalachian square dance," the author is referring to big circle or big set dances, not specifically to four-couple squares. Thurston rejects the notion that Appalachian squares did not… View item
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Frontier Dances - Bob Cook

A native of Colorado, Bob Cook's dancing experiences go back to the time when he was a seventh grader at the Cheyenne Mountain School. He was a member of the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers from 1939 to… View item
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History of Square Dancing - Ralph Page

Between 1972 and 1974, Ralph Page wrote a series of essays entitled A History of Square Dancing. For ease in downloading, we have collected them into "chapters" that group together similar topics. The… View item
Website

Square Dancing in the 1800s

Fred Feild is a long-time caller and square dance enthusiast; now living in Tucson, he was instrumental in creating the Chicago Barn Dance Company in the mid-1970s. In recent years, he has started… View item